Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Marion County Reports First Human Case of West Nile Virus

The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed the first two 2010 human cases of West Nile Virus in Indiana. One case is in Marion County; the other in Allen County.

Through laboratory testing, the Marion County Health Department has been capturing, testing and analyzing local mosquitoes during the last six months. Typically, Marion County sees human cases of West Nile Virus in late August through the end of mosquito season, generally at the time of the season's first hard frost.

"While not surprising, these human cases serve to remind all of us that mosquitoes with the West Nile virus are active and we must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves," said Virginia A. Caine, M.D. and director of the Marion County Health Department.

Since 2002, Marion County has recorded a total of 52 West Nile human cases and a total of 5 human deaths.

Local health officials encourage Marion County residents to take a five-minute walk around where they live, play and work, looking for any container capable of holding water. "Clogged gutters, old tires, swimming pools, garden ponds, buckets and literally anything that can hold water is a potential mosquito breeding site," said Chuck Dulla, administrator of the Marion County Health Department Mosquito Control program.

Those going outside one hour before sunset are advised to wear long pants, long sleeves and cover any exposed skin with a repellant containing the ingredient DEET, picaradin or oil from lemon eucalyptus.

When a probable human case of West Nile virus is found the Marion County Health Department initiates an immediate response plan. This plan includes:

  • Dispatching Environmental Health Specialists to a quarter-mile radius target area of the reported case to check and treat any areas of standing water.
  • Providing information pamphlets about mosquitoes and West Nile virus to residents of the target area.
  • Completing night spraying to knock down any adult mosquitoes in the area.

These steps, along with surveillance of the area, supplement the health department's overall mosquito control effort.

Marion County residents with mosquito questions are encouraged to contact the health department at (317) 221-7440.

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